Fade haircuts are all the rage! But if you want to get the exact fade style you like, you should learn how to explain it to your barber.
This is why today we are going to talk about two of the most popular styles, the drop fade vs. low fade. We will start by explaining all the differences and similarities between these two styles and finish by helping you choose the one that suits you the best. So, grab a cup of coffee and keep reading!
What is a Drop Fade?
As all fades, drop fades feature short hair around the sides and back of the head with longer hair on the top. The hair on the sides is very short around the base of the neck and ears and gets slightly longer as you go up (hence the fade effect).
The drop effect refers to the point where the hair starts getting longer (aka fade transition). The line where this occurs drops as it passes behind the ears producing a U shape around the back of the head.
Drop fades are an unusual cut that draws attention to the shape of the head. They have an edgy look but still, work well for formal and professional occasions. They can be worn with a variety of hairstyles when considering the longer hair on the top of the head.
Related Article: Temple Fade vs. Taper Fade: The Differences & Similarities [Photos]
What is a Low Fade?
Like a drop fade, the low fade is characterized by the classic fade style (hair that is very short around the sides and back of the head that gradually gets longer as you go up with longer hair on the top of the head).
A low fade is so-called because the point at which the hair starts getting longer is low on the temple. It typically starts around a half inch above the ear. It differs from high and mid fades, where the hair starts getting longer an inch above the ear.
While the low fade is defined by the point at which the hair begins getting longer, it is versatile in other respects. The hair on top of the head can be worn any way you wish. You can wear it in bangs, part it on the side, curl it, spike it, etc.
Related Article: Low Fade Vs Mid Fade: The Differences & The Best Styles [Photos]
What are the Differences and Similarities Between a Drop Fade and a Low Fade?
When you compare drop fade vs. low fade, you will find many similarities and differences. Here are the most obvious.
- Overall Styles: Both are fade styles meaning they are very short around the back and sides of the head and gradually get longer as they go up. They also feature long hair on the top of the head.
- Place of Division: Both haircuts start getting longer, around a half inch above the ear. However, they differ in terms of where the line goes from there.
- Versatility with the Top of the Hair: Although both hairstyles have “strict rules” in terms of where the hair should start getting longer in the fade, they allow for a lot of versatility when it comes to the top of the hair that can be worn long, short, spiked, curly… you name it.
- The Curve of the Fade: The main difference between the drop fade and the low fade is the curve of the fade. With a low fade, the line where the hair starts getting longer is straight around the head. With a drop fade, the line drops gradually, producing a U shape around the head.
- Uniqueness: While both cuts are unique, the drop cut is a little more unusual. Therefore, it may appeal more to people that like to stand out in the crowd.
Related Article: Mid Fade Vs High Fade: All The Differences [Photos]
Should You Go for a Drop Fade or Low Fade?
When deciding if you should go with one or another, there are certain things you should consider like:
Markings on the Skull
The drop fade features longer hair around the back and sides of the head. Therefore, it is a better choice if you are trying to cover scars or marks on your head. On the other hand, if you have a tattoo, you want to show off, a low fade will be a better bet.
The Shape of the Face and Head
Both haircuts will bring out the shape of your head. The drop cut is ideal for most face and head shapes. It will accent an oval-shaped head and face or offset a square-shaped head and face. If your head and face are square-shaped, a low fade will accent the squareness making the drop fade a better choice.
If you have thick and/or curly hair, the drop cut may be more your speed. If you get a low fade and your hair starts growing out, it will tend to puff out on the sides of your head. The more graduated look of the drop cut will reduce the effect.
The drop cut is more unusual than the low fade, so it’s a good choice for people who like to stand out. The low fade is better for low-key guys who prefer conservative styles.
Now that you know the drop fade vs. low fade differences, you can get your haircut with confidence. Which one will you choose at your next barbershop visit?
Russell is the founder of themensattitude.com. He is a barber a beard enthusiast and he is obsessed with trying men’s lifestyle products and blog about them. If you have any questions you can hit him up via the contact page.